Practice Areas

Estate Planning

Why is Estate Planning Important?

Ventura County Estate Planning Attorney ©Valentin MendozaEstate planning is a very useful process that can help you and your family prepare for the future. A proper estate plan can help you avoid high court fees, avoid most taxes, and streamline the aging process (at least financially). It will also help your friends and loved ones to care for you if you are unable to care for yourself, and to distribute your estate after you have passed away pursuant to your instructions. An estate plan consists of specific documents.

What Documents Do I Need in My Estate Planning?

Estate plans come in all different shapes and sizes. They range from a simple will, to multiple trusts and other tax planning tools. Most estate plans will include some combination of the following documents:

  • A will is a fairly straight forward document that is necessary for any type of estate planning. California law dictates who will receive our property after our death. A will can change that. It allow you to distribute your belongings the way you want. However, your assets will have to go through the probate process before they are distributed.
  • A trust is the most helpful estate planning document that you can utilize, as it avoids probate and most taxes. It also allows administration after your passing much more quickly and cheaply than probate.
  • A health care directive allows you to name a person (or people) to make medical decisions for you. This is important in the event you are unable to due to illness or incapacity.
  • A power of attorney is also important if you become ill or incapacitated, or if you are unavailable to take care of your property or finances (e.g. while traveling). The document names an agent (or agents) to act for you in financial situations (e.g. selling property, paying bills or transferring assets).

We have helped many people through their estate planning, and would be happy to assist you with yours. Putting a plan in place provides peace of mind for you and your loved ones.